There is a new operating system (OS) for smart phones in town. This new OS, currently in its beta version, goes by the name / e /. Project / e / is the brain child of Gaël Duval – the
man who in a previous avatar scripted the popular Mandrake Linux Operating system.
The project team uses / e / as a temporary placeholder name while the product is in beta. The name for the finished product is yet to be announced.
What is a mobile OS?
To the uninitiated, a mobile OS is the soul behind your smart phone. The brain that runs the hardware. The hardware or the parts of a mobile that you get to touch and hold are the brawn part on your phone.
Who are the current players in the Mobile OS world?
Currently we have two major players in the Mobile OS market. Android (read Google) and iOS (read Apple). Between them they dominate the market. Check out the latest statistics as published by Gartner.
Look at the figures for the 2nd quarter of 2018 or the numbers under the column heading 2Q18 Market Share (%).
The numbers show Google’s Android having an 88% share of the world smart phone market. The remaining 11.9 % is with Apple with its IOS. Now look at the numbers for the other OS’s….as expected the numbers are 0.0!!!!
What do these numbers mean?
The numbers mean that the world and we the end users are directly controlled by these two giant organizations viz Google and Apple. Also involved in filtering our web experience are organizations like Microsoft and Amazon.
The smart phone is now an essential part of our lives. From the minute we wake up to the sound alarm on our phones to the minute we go off to sleep after checking check our phones, our phones are our constant companions.
We use phones to check emails, read the news, chat, talk, take photos…. the list goes on and on. Apps like Facebook, Whats app and twitter have become a part of our vocabulary and lives. These social media accounts keep us in sync with our friends and foes from around the world.
While we are busy using these apps, what we do not realize is that we are also leaving a digital footprint behind us. Details of what we have typed, chatted, uploaded or downloaded are saved on servers at these organization. For example Gmail owns your email data and reads what ever you type. How else do we have auto complete and suggestions popping up while we are still typing out the sentences? While these organizations deny this manipulate it is common knowledge that a major source of their revenue is through selective exposure of our data to third party businesses. Ever wondered how ads from Amazon or Flipkart show up on the sidelines of you web pages, vending products you browsed couple of days back? That happens because browsers save our surfing history and then that data is used by these companies to makes sales pitches. Welcome to the world of targeted advertising! All this is done in the name of facilitating a smooth browsing and purchasing experience!
This is where / e / comes in. The idea behind Gaël Duval’s OS was to seal this data pilferage from the mobile OS. Changes are made at the code level and applications made more secure. The idea to is to prevent leakage of our data be if personal or browsing history.
What / e / brings to the table
In its current beta version the OS is forked from the Lineage OS 14.1. To explain further lineage OS is a free open source operating system for smartphones and tablet computers. It is based on the android source code. The current beta version of / e / is based on Nougat. Android has come out with Oreo and Pie two upgrades after Nougat. Development for the upgrade to Oreo or Lineage 15.1 is on at / e /.
Devices supported in the current version of / e /
There are about 25 plus phones which have ROM’s in the beta version. As mentioned before development for devices which work on oreo or Lineage 15.1 is underway and expected to be released soon.
A few screenshots of phones running / e / are given below
For more details on the project take a look at the following sites
/ e / Web site : https://e.foundation/
/ e / forum : https://community.e.foundation/
Read about Gaël Duval https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ga%C3%ABl_Duval
Understand what Targeted Advertising is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Targeted_advertising
To check on the availability of devices and how to install them on your phone check out the web page here:
Interested in building the OS… well check out the details here https://gitlab.e.foundation/e/wiki/en/wikis/build